‘We aim to internationalise the AES in India and also globally.’

Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India’s MD Raj Manek speaks to Amit Panday on plans to make the Automotive Engineering Show (AES) bigger and better.

By Amit Panday calendar 16 Jun 2014 Views icon2836 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
‘We aim to internationalise the AES in India and also globally.’

Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India’s MD Raj Manek speaks to Amit Panday on plans to make the Automotive Engineering Show (AES) bigger and better.

What is the overall plan behind Messe Frankfurt’s acquisition of the Automotive Engineering Show (AES)?
The potential of this concept is huge. This is a 100 percent acquisition. Pune is great and Chennai is perfect and there’s room to grow in Chennai too. I believe that we can bring in some international clients to the Chennai edition, given we had only two months to prepare for this one (Pune edition). And there is big potential to grow this show in a metro city (Delhi / Mumbai).
The synergy of this show with Automechanika is massive and visitors can crossover. There are a lot of OEMs, who come for Automechanika, who would also want to come here. The idea is to bring AES alongside the Automechanika, wherein it remains a standalone entity, marketed independently.
The second aim is to take this show to a global market, for example Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and China. Usually, we, at Messe Frankfurt, bring the German brand to India. With AES, we plan to do the reverse. In a nutshell, we aim to internationalise this show in India and also globally.

Are you conducting some research for the viability of organising this show in Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and China?
We have done our studies in Mexico and South Africa and they are our priority markets to begin with. There are a lot of Indian companies which are actively looking to do business in South America and South Africa.
Messe Frankfurt is a trusted event organiser for its standards, for bringing crucial clients on board, for providing a clean and business-oriented environment. We plan to take a lot of Indian companies to other global markets with us.

So have you put any tentative deadlines for these ambitious plans?
The AES will happen as it is to be held in Chennai next year. We are not looking at holding it alongside Automechanika in 2015 (in Delhi). However, we plan to synergise it with Automechanika in 2016 (with possibly Delhi as the ideal location).
Also, we are planning to annualise the Automechanika, which is a biennial event in India as of now. For that, we are talking to CII and ACMA currently. Our clients want us to annualise the Automechanika in India.

Does this mean Auto Expo will be held alongside the Component Expo and also Automechanika alongside AES, all in 2016? Do you think Tier 1 and 2 suppliers and other vendors in the automotive supply chain would invest that much in a single year?
Absolutely not. We plan to organise the Automechanika (alongside AES) replacing the Components Expo in 2016. But we need to get a vote of ACMA on this. We have to look at what the industry wants. We can’t organise Automechanika every year, making the event clash with the Components Expo every second year. There is no point putting up another show (while the industry body runs its own), making the exhibitor choose one of the two. We are, instead, looking to support the industry.
If the exhibitors tell us to organise Automechanika every year while CII and ACMA continue to organise their Components Expo, then we would keep ours (Automechanika) biennial.

The next Automechanika is scheduled for February 2015 in Delhi. January-February 2016 will see the Auto Expo and either the Components Expo or the Automechanika (alongside the AES) running parallel to the same?
The upcoming edition of Automechanika is booked for February 2015. For 2016, if all goes well as per our plans, while the Auto Expo will happen in January, we can do our show(s) in February or March. It is not necessary to run all events parallel to each other.
But if CII wants to continue doing the Components Expo, then we will not do one. In that case, we will continue with our biennial format. However, the advantages we have are the global exhibitors in our portfolio, we produce the show differently and we market it very well. We put up our shows very methodically.

What about the tentative timeline for launching AES globally?
We plan to organise the AES alongside the Automechanika in Mexico in 2016. That means we have to launch AES there by the end of 2014 to kick-start our branding and marketing initiatives. As for South Africa, while we stand at a massive advantage there, thanks to our strong presence, we are still working around the timelines for the same.


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